The Client by John Grisham takes place in Memphis, Tennessee. It starts out with a little boy, named Mark and his brother sneaking into the woods to try and smoke cigarettes. While in the woods, they witness a man kill himself. But before he does so, this man tells Mark some very important secrets, which ends up putting Mark and his entire family at risk of being hurt. This event ends up putting Mark’s brother in a coma. There are lawyers who keep on pressuring Mark to tell these things that he is not supposed to know, except that the Mafia threatens to kill Mark and his family if they tell the truth. This is because the secret is that the Mafia killed a Senator and buried him in their lawyer’s garage, and the lawyer is the person who commits suicide.
Since Mark didn’t confess to the lawyers, he is put in jail until he admits this secret. This is where he hires a lawyer named Reggie Love for the fee of one dollar. He eventually escapes for jail and figures that the only way to really know if this is true or not is if he goes and sees it himself. It is a coincidence though that the Mafia decides to do the same thing. Mark and Reggie end up finding the body, and the mob finds them. Mark and Reggie escape unharmed from the Mafia, and strike a deal with the district attorney. It is that they will tell them where the body is, if they agree to put them in a witness protection program, which is what they end up doing. Mark and his family move to Arizona, and everything ends up being okay.
One of the main characters in this book is Mark Sway, a little ten-year-old boy. He is strong willed, you can tell this because he keeps on going through all of this turmoil. He also seems to be really smart, and he speaks like someone who’s a lot older than ten-years-old.
Another main character is Roy Foltrigg. He is the district attorney in the story. He has a really big ego, and it seems like he’s lazy. He always has a team of lawyers who do everything for him, while he takes all of the credit. He seems like a typical man of politics.
I feel that I didn’t really learn too much from this book. But what I did learn is how much witnessing a crime or knowing about a crime can affect your life. I never knew what kind of power that the mob can have over people’s lives. It was interesting to learn this, and it makes me feel lucky that nothing like that has ever happened to me. I felt really bad for Mark because he not only put his life in danger, but he put the lives of his family in jeopardy as well. This had to be a huge burden for him, one that I would never want to carry around on my shoulders.
One thing that I learned about criminal justice from this book is that someone can be put in a witness protection program and totally disappear, without any trace of them. I never knew how someone could go about doing that, and that they could make deals with the law like that.
A question that I would really like to have answered is what ever happened to the lawyer Reggie Love. Did she go into a witness protection program too? Or maybe she kept on practicing law, but did she move to get away from the mob? These are questions that I feel that John Grisham left unanswered.
I think that there could be very interesting sequel written. I think that the mob could end up finding the family somehow, and murder a member of Mark’s family. That way, the whole story could develop and go into a whole different direction. In the end, Mark and Reggie could bring the mob to court somehow, and bring them down.
I definitely would not recommend this book to anyone who is into suspense. It was not suspenseful at all, you find out things in the first chapter that I think could’ve been saved for later on in the book. This also made the novel really dry and boring. It was not particularly eventful or even interesting. It was a typical story about how the mob threatens people because they committed a crime. If you want to read a book that is interesting, and keeps you wanting to read more and more, do not read this book.
Summary of “The Client”
Eleven-year-old Mark, and his brother Ricky (8), were just in the woods to have a smoke they’d stolen from their mother, Diane Sway (27), when a Lincoln arrived at the same area. Filled with curiosity, Ricky fooled his brother to get closer to the car. A few minutes later they could watch a big guy with a beard get out of the same car and stick a hose into the tail-pipe and lead the other end into the front-window, in reason to kill himself by the exhaust. When Mark saw this he realised that the man was “crazy as hell”, so he decided to help the man as much as he could, because he wasn’t going to just lie there and watch a man kill himself. So without his brother’s support he crawled toward the Lincoln and removed the hose from the tail-pipe, and then he returned to the bushes, where Ricky was to stay, or else he would get his “but-kicked”, by his big-brother. But the man was, as Mark said, “crazy as hell”, so he got out of the car and put the hose back in. The third time Mark approached the car to save the man’s life, the man had realised that something was wrong, and Mark’s nightmare could begin. He was pulled into the veichle, and they had a very long conversation. And Mark heard some sentences he really shouldn’t have heard. Mark was told that the reason for the suicide, was that the same guy was threatened by the Mob. The former U.S Senator in Louisiana, named Boyd Boyette, was killed by Barry “the Blade” Muldanno, also called just “the Blade”, and the Police were looking everywhere for the body, but they could not locate it. Even they knew very well that “the Blade” was behind the murder, they couldn’t prove it. “The Blade” had hid the body under Jerome Clifford’s boat, in his garage. Jerome, or “Romey”, was the man in the Lincoln with Mark. All this, and even more, Mark was told, before he by luck managed to escape and bring himself and his brother in safety, as they witnessed the suicide, which was made with Romey’s own gun. And the boys went home to phone the Police. Ricky was entering a shock, and was put into St.Peter’s Charity Hospital, where Mark and his brother were to stay the following nights.
The FBI wants to hear what Mark has to say, and if he knows where the body is buried, and that’s when Mark takes off to find himself a lawyer, and he ends up with Reggie Love. The “Feds” even break the law to make Mark speak, and the Mob do all they can to keep him quiet. Mark can only trust his lawyer, Reggie, who had been practising law for only four years.
In addition to the Feds they have the U.S attorney, Roy Foltrigg. The already TV-celebrity who would do anything to get his own face on TV-screens all over America, in hope getting elected as the new U.S Senator in Louisiana.
Miss Reggie does her job very well, and Mark doesn’t have to tell Roy and his FBI-friends that much, but that results in a few nights in jail for Mark, where he managed escape from. He persuades Reggie to come with him to Romey’s house, to see if the body actually is buried there. Of course, at the same time Barry Muldanno and a few more guys arrive in order to move the former Senator’s body to another location. Reggie and Mark will by luck get away from Romey’s knowing that the body really was there, and “the Blade” and his friends were forced to leave if they didn’t want to be arrested for trespassing.
When they came back home, Reggie and the FBI, with Larry Trumann in front, agreed to set up a witness-protection-programme for Mark and his family, if Reggie gives Trumann the location of the body in time before the Mob manage to move it.